Dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss. Let our office show you how dental implants can be the best treatment option for replacing your missing teeth. They don’t rest on the gum line like removable dentures or use neighboring teeth as anchors like fixed bridges. They are long-term replacements that are placed in your jawbone.
Implants are synthetic devices that are surgically inserted in the area of your tooth normally occupied by the root as a foundation to receive artificial teeth to replace those you have lost. The replacement teeth are so well designed that they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth.
About 69% of adults ages 35 to 44 have lost at least one permanent tooth due to an accident, gum disease, a failed root canal or tooth decay. By age 74, about 26% of adults have lost all of their permanent teeth.
DENTAL IMPLANTS VS. DENTURES OR BRIDGES
Not that many years ago, your options for missing teeth would have been limited to a removable denture or a fixed bridge to restore your ability to eat, speak clearly and smile. But removable dentures or fixed bridges may not be the perfect solution for you because of complications associated with them. Because of all of the following factors, fixed bridges and removable dentures may need to be replaced every seven to 15 years.
Removable dentures may slip or make embarrassing clicking sounds while eating or speaking. Studies show that within five to seven years there is a failure rate of up to 30% in teeth located next to a fixed bridge or removable partial denture. Furthermore, conventional dentures may contribute to the loss of bone in the area where teeth are missing. The presence of natural teeth preserves the jawbone. When a tooth is missing, the bone may erode and weaken until it may be necessary for your dentist to graft bone to the area to strengthen it for placement of a dental implant. When a missing tooth is replaced by a dental implant, the fusion, or Osseo integration, of the implant and bone provides stability, just as the natural tooth did. When they count the benefits they enjoy as a result of their dental implants, patients say their implants eliminate the day-to-day frustrations and discomfort of ill-fitting dentures. They allow people to enjoy a varied diet without the restrictions many denture wearers face.
Many people who are missing a single tooth opt for a fixed bridge. But a fixed bridge often negatively affects your adjacent healthy teeth to which they are attached. A bridge may require the cutting down of healthy, adjacent teeth, and they may need to be restored sometime in the future. Some reasons that fixed bridgework can fail include: recurrent decay, periodontal (gum) disease and other factors. Then there is the additional cost of possibly having to replace the bridge once, twice or more over the course of a lifetime.
The replacement teeth look, feel and function like your natural teeth. They appear natural, help to preserve bone and help keep your facial contours preserved. A dental implant designed to replace a single tooth is composed of three parts: (1) the titanium implant device that fuses with the jawbone; (2) the abutment, which fits over the portion of the device that is above the gum line; and (3) the crown, which is the artificial tooth fitted onto the abutment for a natural tooth look. Your replacement teeth will be attached to the implants to allow excellent function. The implants will serve as a stable support that tightly locks into your replacement teeth to prevent slipping and bone loss.
Because surgery is necessary to prepare the area for an implant and place the implant in your mouth, you will have anesthesia given to you. If necessary, antibiotics will be prescribed to stave off infection following the surgery. Following the procedure, a period of time is required for the implant to take hold, and for bone tissue to build up and anchor the device, before the artificial tooth or teeth are added.
Dental implants can change your life. They can enable you to rediscover the comfort and confidence to eat, speak, laugh and enjoy life. With an overall success rate of about 95% and almost 50 years of clinical research to back them up, dental implants are frequently the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. The vast majority of implants, after over 20 years of service, continue to function at peak performance. And, the recipients of those early dental implants are still convinced that they made the right choice. Dental implants, if properly cared for, can last a lifetime.
ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Not everyone is a candidate for a dental implant, however. For a successful implant to take hold, a candidate must have proper bone density and have a strong immune system. Like any restoration, implants require diligent oral hygiene and proper care to ensure they last a long time. Yet, whether you are young, middle-aged or older; whether you need to replace one tooth, several teeth, or all your teeth, there is a dental implant solution for you.
Growing children are the exception, however. In children, implant tooth replacement is usually deferred until jaw growth is completed. There are, however, some instances when a dental implant may be appropriate, such as when it is part of the child’s orthodontic treatment plan. Your family dentist or orthodontist can guide you here.
Even those with the following health concerns may be candidates for dental implants:
- Gum Disease – Almost all implants placed in patients who have lost their teeth to periodontal disease or decay have been successful.
- Current Dentures – Implants have replaced removable bridges or dentures. They also can be used to stabilize and secure the denture, making it much more comfortable.
- Smokers – Smoking does lower the success rate of implants. Ye, it doesn’t completely eliminate the possibility of getting them.
- Bone Loss – Bone loss is not uncommon for people who have lost teeth or have had periodontal disease. Your oral surgeon is trained and experienced in grafting bone to safely and permanently secure your implant.
- Current Medical Conditions – If you are able to have routine dental treatment, you can usually have an implant placed. Precautions are advisable for certain conditions, yet patients with such chronic diseases as high blood pressure and diabetes may be successful candidates for dental implant treatment.
With a sense of renewed self-confidence, many people rediscover the excitement of an active lifestyle shared with family and friends and the chance to speak clearly and comfortably with co-workers. For all these reasons, people with dental implants say they look better, they feel better and they live better.
Contact our office for more information.